After passing some hours catching all the shrimps, fishes, plants and removed the soil, the aquarium is now empty and cleaned to receive the new layout.
In this setup, I used a different soil from ELOS, the New Medium Black Soil. I had used it before in Telford (AQUA2011) when I setup the ELOS Paludarium; What a great soil!!!
As you know I'm a big fan of the brown soil (ELOS Terra) because of its own properties that leaves the water crystal clear after a few hours even that you use a small filter. About this new soil, I will not say nothing about it... I prefer to show it in a video that I did when I filled the aquarium with water!
Products used on this setup, all of them from ELOS: New BlackMediumSoil, Bottom Mineral, AquaUno and TerraZero.
Picture of AquaUno (Special bacteria/Enzymatic Complex for Freshwater), TerraZero (powder rich in elements for long keeping planted Aquariums) and Bottom Mineral (mineral soil very rich in nutrients)
New MediumBlackSoil from ELOS:
TerraZero, is a powder with elements that permits to keep a planted aquarium for longer without no need to increase the liquid fertilization. This will provide constant feeding to the roots of the plants for more than 18months when used together with Bottom Mineral.
Bottom Mineral, plants need rich soil to develop their roots and grow healthy. Normal soils have nutrients that keeps them fed by a short period of time, of course depending on the quantity of plants used, but normally at least 3~4 months. When used a powerfull rich soil below the based soil, it will permits constant feeding for 12months without need of extra dose of liquid fertilization.
When I was in UK to Aqua2011 @Telford, I saw some beautiful pieces of hardscape and after a chat with the owner of UNIPAC, he kindly sent me a parcel with some fake rocks to use on my layouts. It is not common to find something like that in Portugal, or in other words, I never saw it on Aquarium's market... maybe because it's a new product or shop's owner don't believe that could be a good bet! To be honest, it was love at first sight and for sure a very useful product on my workshops, seminars and home setups. Its very light and you can carry on to everywhere; they have a lot of details and if I hadn't said so, people wouldn't beleived that was fake! Major value on this pieces of hardscape is that don't change your water's parameters, so you can simply use them in any kind of aquarium vs fishes!
In this setup I used Replica Decorative Products from UNIPAC ' The Suteshi Fake stones SR/C, SR/F and SR/I.
Before placed them on the soil, I added AquaUno (3 capsules) in bottom glass spreading them on entire bottom, later TerraZero (1 package in the same way as AquaUno), Bottom Mineral (1 bag) and finally covered very well the entire bottom with BlackMediumSoil to avoid the nutrients of the products used below stay in contact with the water.
After placed the hardscape on the right position, I used more soil to fill empty zones between the rocks and give more depth to layout.
All the plants used are from Aquaflora.nl. They came well conditioned in packages of 5 pots each in a plastic box (pots of 5cm) and with great quality!!
Here it is a picture of the layout almost planted.
Before add the fishes and after fill the aquarium with water, I used 2 capsules of AquaUno directly on the water to provide some bacteria. After 15min, I added the fishes and invertebrates.
I hope that you enjoy it and news coming soon!